Will Advertising Be Reduced To Pimping Parity Products?

Now, more so than ever, an interweb company with a compelling product or service, need not advertise. Or so says Bruce Sterling in Wired:

It’s good to see Internet entrepreneurs grinning again. Web 2.0 makes them happy in several ways that its bubble-era forebear did not. Here’s a critical one: The new breed of online business has no need to advertise. Have you ever seen an ad for Skype? Any kind of pitch, anywhere? Yo, Skype don’t hype!
Web 2.0 outfits like Skype, Wikipedia, Flickr, and del.icio.us don’t need to promote themselves because, unlike their Web 1.0 counterparts, they connect people directly to engage in meaningful activities.

What about offline products and services? Do they need advertising? I think the same principal is at work. When you have a product or service with no equals, there’s no need to create desire. For instance, Herman Miller chairs need no advertising. They advertise themselves.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.